Book review: The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben


“A walk in the woods will never be the same again.” [cover]

Why read about trees when you’re learning a new language?

First, for pleasure, as it’s a fascinating read. Peter Wohlleben presents many interesting scientific facts about trees: he talks about some mysterious truths (why deciduous trees drop leaves in winter), beautiful truths (the cycle of a tree life) and surprises (trees can count!). Peter Wohlleben’s passion, knowledge, wisdom & understanding towards the trees is truly impressive.

Secondly, the book explores the topic of communication and is interested to know if trees can communicate and, if yes, what ‘language’ they use to pass information. Peter Wohlleben mentions scent signals, visual signals, chemical signals and sound signals (e.g. cracking roots communicating with grass). Understanding the communicative signals of trees might be an important component in getting to know them better, but this hasn’t been deeply researched yet. So for the time being, “if you hear a light cracking the next time you take a walk in the forest, perhaps it won’t be just the wind…”. [p.13]

Thirdly, while and after reading the book, you’ll be inspired to go for a walk in the forest. Don’t hesitate, go! – especially since “[e]very walk in the forest is like taking a shower in oxygen.” [p. 224]

What’s your current read? Let me know in the comments below.

Kinga Macalla

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